US antifraud effort nets Medicare $2.5b
May 14, 2010
WASHINGTON — The government says it recovered $2.5 billion in overpayments for the Medicare trust fund last year as the Obama administration focused attention on fraud enforcement efforts in the health care industry.
Investigators have new tools this year to help crack down on health care fraud, with the Justice Department and the Health and Human Services Department working cooperatively to police companies. The newly enacted Affordable Care Act is designed to lengthen prison sentences in criminal cases, and the new law provides an added $300 million over the next 10 years for stronger enforcement. It also gives the government new authority to step up oversight of companies participating in Medicare and Medicaid.
For the fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30, the federal government won or negotiated $1.63 billion in judgments and settlements, and investigators opened 1,014 new criminal health care fraud investigations involving 1,786 defendants.
In 2008, recoveries for the Medicare Trust Fund totaled $1.9 billion.
Junior Legislative Assistant/Press Assistant
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)